G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wanted for Sedition- Aseem Trivedi in Great Company

Curtis White in Lapham's Quarterly October 2011:

"...When John Murray published the works of Lord Byron in London in the early 19th century, he risked prosecution and jail if the work was found blasphemous or libelous by the powerful. Byron, notoriously, didn’t help things, deliberately writing his poetry out along the razor’s edge of public tolerance, just as he lived his life. In another example, Shelley wrote to his publisher, Thomas Hookham, regarding the appearance of his poem Queen Mab: “If you do not dread the arm of the law, or any exasperation of public opinion against yourself, I wish that it should be printed and published immediately.” Hookham must have had such fears because he refused to publish the atheistic and revolutionary poem (Tory legislation against “blasphemous and seditious” literature was the order of the day). As a consequence, the first edition of the work was self-published in a run of a few hundred copies for distribution among friends. Even so, in 1817, the poem’s radical politics and atheism were used against Shelley in his suit to gain the custody of his children; he lost the suit and never saw them afterwards. In England, still in reactionary posture after the French Revolution and Napoleon, poets and writers like Shelley, Byron, and Leigh Hunt found it safer to flee the country in order to write. They conducted their on-going dialogue with their native land through their brave, nerve-wracked, and sometimes imprisoned publishers..."


The Hindu, September 9 2012:

"Award-winning political cartoonist and anti-corruption and Internet freedom crusader Aseem Trivedi (25) was remanded in police custody till September 16 by a holiday court in Bandra on Sunday. He was arrested on Saturday night on charges of sedition, cybercrime, and insulting the national flag, Parliament and the Constitution through his work..."

"Reward for information leading to the apprehension of --- Jesus Christ Wanted -- for Sedition, Criminal Anarchy - Vagrancy, and Conspiring to Overthrow the Established Government. Dresses poorly, said to be a carpenter by trade, ill-nourished, has visionary ideas, associates with common working people the unemployed and bums. Alien - beleived to be a Jew Alias: 'Prince of Peace, Son of Man'-'Light of the World' etc etc Professional Agitator Red beard, marks on hands and feet the result of injuries inflicted by an angry mob led by respectable citizens and legal authorities."

Artist: Art Young, The Masses, 1917

courtesy: Wikimedia Commons